Air cargo transportation is an essential component in the freight transportation market, primarily due to the transportation requirements of time-sensitive products. Air cargo transportation plays an increasingly important role alongside economic development. Cargo flight network design and fleet routing selection significantly affect the performance of the air cargo transportation. In this research, we propose an integrated model simultaneously considering cargo flight network design and the fleet routing selection for the air cargo transportation. Two transportation modes, the direct transportation mode in point-to-point networks and the transshipment mode in hub-and-spoke networks, are compared. In order to solve the proposed optimization problem, a swarm-intelligence-based algorithm is adapted. Numerical experiments were conducted to examine and validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed model and algorithm. The computational results suggest that the proper settings of hub and transshipment route selection in an air cargo transportation network can significantly reduce the transportation cost, which can provide practical managerial insights for the air cargo transportation industry.
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